Court lifts injunction on Activision sale

Activision CEO Bobby Kotick is happy
Seth Tipps

By Seth Tipps

October 11th 2013 at 8:42AM

Deal freeing publisher from Vivendi to be completed by October 15

The Delaware Supreme court has overturned an injunction blocking the sale of $8.2 billion worth of Activision-Blizzard stock that will end Vivendi's control of the U.S. publisher.

The French Media conglomerate had over 60 percent controlling interest since Activision and Blizzard merged in 2008, but the deal announced this July would have reduced this to just 12 percent, leaving the publisher independent but publicly traded.

But a few investors cried foul over the fact that the deal gave 25 percent - the largest cut - of the company to ASAC II LP, an investment group formed by Activision CEO Bobby Kotick and co-chairman Brian Kelly and including Chinese games company Tencent.

The court sided with shareholder Douglas Hayes's complaint that the purchase constituted unjust enrichment, and placed an injunction barring the sale until approved by non-Vivendi shareholders or a successful appeal could be filed.

The companies took the later course, and today the court overturned the injunction with just five days to spare before the proposed stock selloff expired.

Activision-Blizzard should now be officially free of Vivendi as of October 15th, a fact that drove company shares up nearly five percent to close at $17.05.